LONDON — In Bruce Springsteen’s hit song “Glory Days,” The Boss sings of happier times in his youth and laments that “time slips away and leaves you with nothing but boring stories of glory days.” Now a new survey out of the United Kingdom seems to confirm the melancholy song, revealing that life is “least fun” at age 45, and that most people feel it’s harder to enjoy life as much as we did in our childhood.
Commissioned by U.K. theater chain Cineworld, the survey of 2,000 Brits finds that more than half of adults agree that the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to find amusement in everyday life. Sadly, just four in ten respondents can say they actively seek out enjoyable experiences in their day-to-day life. The same number even agree that the “concept of fun” ended when they entered adulthood.
Even worse, a depressing 10% of respondents say they don’t partake in any fun during a typical week. As for reasons why: they don’t have the money; they don’t have the energy; or, somehow, they just don’t know how to have fun.
“As adults, we find it easy to get bogged down in the mundane parts of life and forget to set aside time to have fun,” says psychoanalyst Steve McKeown in a statement. “From the research, we can see that a lot of Brits simply don’t know where to start when it comes to having fun, but it could be as simple as just spending more time with our loved ones. With psychological benefits including reduced stress and increased happiness, spending time together as a family is a great way to inject that sense of childish fun back into our lives.”
And while 60% of respondents say they’d love to restore that childlike spark they once had, only a quarter think that more time with their family would do the trick. Interestingly, that sentiment could change if spending time with relatives involved children. A whopping 83% of participants say they have more fun with kids than they do with adults.
“It is because of their often more heightened sense of imagination and ability to act without worry of what people might think, that children are free to embrace the fun side of life,” says McKeown.
Among activities that could help an older soul rediscover their youth, researchers say that watching children’s movies, talking in silly voices, and dancing to music like no one’s watching were found to be three of the best ways to help bring back that younger feeling.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.